FINANCE

Finish Line Q4 profit up 12%

BY CSA STAFF

Indianapolis — The Finish Line said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit rose 12% with strong same-store sales.

The company reported net income of $34.3 million in the quarter that ended Feb. 26, compared with $30.6 million a year earlier.

The Finish Line said that excluding a charge for writing down the value of stores.

Revenue rose 2.7% to $384.6 million. Same-store sales rose 4%.

The company said operating margins were 9% close to its goal of double-digit margins for the full year.

For the full fiscal year, the company earned $68.8 million on sales of $1.23 billion, compared with $35.7 million on sales of $1.17 billion the previous year.

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Kenmore launches online reality series

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kenmore announced that it has launched an online reality series, "So You Wanna Be a Designer."

For six weeks the reality show will stream live on Kenmore’s Facebook page to show budding designers at work, making their dreams a reality. Through the series, contestants will learn how to navigate the barriers of entering the design world: how to create and launch a brand, and how to price, present and promote designs successfully, among other things.

"Kenmore has long been on the leading edge of innovation, value and dependability. As our customers’ needs have evolved, we’ve worked to create products that meet those needs," said Scott Freidheim, EVP Sears Holdings and president Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard. "Our ability to engage with customers as they desire has also progressed. Today, we are increasingly leveraging technology and online social networks to engage with customers. This Kenmore Live Studio initiative is a first of its kind and we’re excited to be able to give a deserving designer the opportunity to realize their dream of breaking into the design industry through this reality series."

The winner of the series will take home a$20,000 cash prize and an innovative Kenmore Elite laundry pair.

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FINANCE

Target wants pro-gay marriage group in San Diego to stop canvassing its stores

BY CSA STAFF

San Diego — Target Corp. is suing a pro-gay marriage group to get it to stop canvassing outside its San Diego County stores, alleging the group’s activists are driving away customers, the Associated Press said.

Rights advocates say the trial between Target and the group, Canvass For A Cause, that begins Friday could further strain the chain’s relations with the gay and lesbian community. Target came under heat from advocates in the last election season when it donated $150,000 to a MN Forward, a business group backing a Minnesota Republican candidate that was opposed to gay marriage.

Target insists it remains committed to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its lawsuit has nothing to do with the political agenda of the organization.

"Our legal action was in no way related to the cause of the organization and was done so to be consistent with our long-standing policy of providing a distraction-free shopping experience by not permitting solicitors at our stores," the company said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

Target notes it has taken similar action against a number of organizations representing a variety of causes. It alleges in the lawsuit that the San Diego group’s activists harass customers by cornering them near its stores’ front entrances and debating with them about their views on gay marriage, according to the report.

Target said at least eight of its stores in the area have reported receiving more than a dozen complaints daily since canvassers started working outside their stores in October 2010. Target says the activists have refused to leave when asked politely and shown the company’s policy prohibiting "expressive activity" on its property.

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Mar-11-2013 06:17 am

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